As one of the faces of modern motorcycling, Charley Boorman is coming to Ireland to support a young cyclist on his way to Dakar.
Cyclist Oran O’Kelly will be racing in the Dakar Rally in 2024, and will join Mr Boorman in a discussion about a life on motorbikes in The Helix on September 16th.
Mr Boorman told The Anton Savage Show he’s learned you can just be a motorcyclist for life.
“It's funny how you can have motorbikes for the rest of your life, it just keeps going,” he said.
“There's a guy called Ted Simon who wrote a great book Jupiter’s Travels.
“Back in the 70s, he was supposed to go [motorcycling] for three months and ended up riding for seven years.
“He’s now in his 80s but he’s still riding the motorbike and doing festivals.
“It’s something you can live with forever.”
'I remember thinking this is going to hurt'
While you can motorcycle will into your old age, it’s a lot easier when you avoid injuries – which Mr Boorman hasn’t always done.
In 2016, Mr Boorman broke both his legs after colliding into a wall while avoiding a car during a test ride of a brand-new bike.
“I was the first person ever to destroy that bike in the world, so at least I got something out of it,” he said.
“I do remember sailing through the air with the wall coming towards me thinking, ‘This is going to hurt’.
“There was definitely some slow motion that goes on.”
While it was the bike that broke his legs, it was also the bike that motivated him to get better.
“I was stuck downstairs in a wheelchair for months, and I could see all my bikes outside,” he said.
“The idea of getting back on a motorbike was one the of the focuses I had.
“I'm sure it’s the same for people who ride horses or climb mountains – it's your passion, your thing, it’s hard to give up.”
'It's great fun'
Mr Boorman agreed, however, the growing power of bikes can make cycling more dangerous than horse-riding.
“I’ve broken both hands, both legs, my pelvis, I’ve had head injuries – it's great fun,” he said.
The world of cycling has also given him friends for life – including actor Ewan McGregor who Mr Boorman cycled around the world with in various TV shows and films.
“He moved over to the states at one point, and we just never saw each other,” Mr Boorman said.
“Then I had this big crash in 2016 which was the real big one, and he suddenly rang me when I was in hospital.
“He suddenly realised he hadn’t seen me for ages and so then he ended up staying in my house for a couple of months.
“The great thing about old friends is it doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen each other in six months or two years you just pick up where you left off.”
Click here to get tickets to An Evening with Charley Boorman in The Helix on September 16th.
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